Selling a home is an emotionally draining and time-consuming process, especially if it’s the first time you’re doing it. Sometimes, it feels like total strangers are invading your space, opening the cabinets and closets, and looking around. Some people will criticize your residence, which is more than four walls and a roof for you and your family.
The same people will also offer far less money than you believe your home is worth.
Without experience, the emotional and complex process of selling a home can lead many first-time sellers to make expensive mistakes. But a little know-how can help you avoid such pitfalls and get the best price.
Read on to find out about mistakes to avoid when selling your home in Orlando to sell within a reasonable time frame and remain sane.
1. Overpricing Your Orlando Home (Or Underpricing It)
First impressions matter when selling a home. The home’s market debut is the first chance to attract buyers, and overpricing increases the risk that buyers will run.
Underpricing the property is a strategy some sellers employ to garner interest and perhaps spark a bidding war. The strategy is also popular when looking to sell your Orlando home fast. However, pricing too low may mean you’re leaving behind some serious cash, and the price may turn away some buyers because they worry there might be problems with the property.
The potential issues with pricing your home too high or low are significant and will cost you money. Some ways to avoid falling into this trap include:
- Hiring a professional agent: The best agents close on a respectable number of properties and are honest about the realistic price for your property based on recent sales of similar ones in the area.
- Visiting open houses: See whether your home offers something better or worse than others on the market in the area. Visiting open houses can help you gather accurate information for an informed pricing decision.
- Going in a hair lower than value: Pricing a little below the market may help generate the interest you want in the property. It is an excellent position to be in as a seller because buyers may let their emotions dictate decision-making and offer a higher price to outbid another.
- Being patient: Put time on your side by respecting the market, hiring an experienced agent, and having the right mindset.
2. Selling at the Wrong Time of Year
Believe it or not, there is a best and a worst month to sell a house in Florida. Determining the right time to sell is subjective because it depends on your specific circumstances and goals.
November and December are months when your home will sell the fastest. Sales are high in the early winter months as people living in cold regions look to move to Orlando.
Another reason you’ll get a higher price in December is because of a supply shortage, as homeowners don’t want to list their homes close to Christmas. There’s also the chance that the rush to move before the new year drives prices higher. Selling an Orlando home takes about three months to close, so list your property in August to sell at a higher price.
The worst month for selling a house in Orlando is in January. Listing during the first month of the year means you’re pushing for a sale, and chances are that it will sell much lower than you expect. Prices can fall by as much as 15.6% in January.
3. Skipping Presale Prep Work
Understanding issues with your house will help set the right price. A presale inspection provides a list of information a buyer may discover during the home inspection. When you know the problem areas in advance, you can consult with professionals to make repairs or get quotes for the repairs.
Painting the walls and pulling up carpeting are relatively easy repair tasks to tackle, but you should address the major issues, too. For example, a new roof or fixing foundation cracks are expensive repairs, especially when you might not recoup the cost in the sale.
But you’re better off fixing these problems rather than having a buyer ask for credit to cover repair. The strategy gives you more say over who completes the job and the repair costs.
Further, new features can become a major selling point when listing the property. Replacing the roof before the listing is cheaper than the cost the buyer will subtract from the offer.
4. Not Keeping the Home Show-Ready
Prepping your home cosmetically for showings is key to hooking a buyer. A few things to get your home show-ready include:
- Decluttering: Clean your home, remove clutter, and put away items you don’t need. Remember to clean out the closets, because buyers will look in there.
- Depersonalizing: Remove any family photos, toiletries, or kids’ drawings, and store your items out of sight. The task will help prospective buyers picture themselves living in the space.
- Repainting with neutral colors: Now’s the time to repaint your property using neutral colors such as grays, whites, and creams. Give prospective home buyers a clean slate so they can see the potential.
- Dealing with interior cosmetic problems: Cracked or chipped glass, holes in walls, stains, and broken light switches are a few items that require addressing. The goal is to get the home as close to pristine as possible.
Also, consider addressing your property’s curb appeal. 97% of National Association of Realtors (NAR) members believe curb appeal is critical to potential buyers.
Remember, a prospective buyer forms an opinion of your home before crossing the threshold. So make an excellent first impression by repairing broken driveways and sidewalks, doing some landscaping, and painting the exterior.
Further, you must accommodate anyone who wants to view your home. Tidy and clean the property before each visit.
The potential buyers don’t care or know if the home was clean last week. It takes a lot of work to get your home show-ready, but focus on the prize.
5. Choosing the Wrong Orlando Real Estate Agent
Listing agents are partners in the property selling process. The agent acts as your point person, expert, and advocate. One of the most common problems when selling a house is choosing the first real estate agent you come across.
The best real estate agents have good local connections and understand the market, so you get a realistic and good listing price for your home in line with buyer expectations and market prices. An agent with good connections is an excellent marketing tool. The agent also helps you create quality marketing materials for max exposure that brings in the right potential buyers.
Some materials listing agents produce include:
- A virtual or video tour of your property, depending on the pricing level
- Professional-grade photos
- Brochures with photos and helpful buyer tips
- Posting the listing on a network of real estate websites
However, don’t settle for the agent asking for the lowest commission. Such agents may simply post your home on the Multiple Listing Service (MLS) without professional staging, professional photos, or even targeting the right markets.
6. Not Hiring a Professional Photographer
Do you know that 90% of homebuyers use online search programs to hunt for a new home? Others prefer taking virtual tours of houses they’re interested in. So it’s worth the money and time to hire a professional photographer.
Many home sale listings have poor photos, so using high-quality images will set you apart and generate extra interest. The best photos are clear and crisp and taken during the day when there’s plenty of natural light. These photos showcase the best attributes of your home.
A wide-angle lens offers potential buyers a good idea of what the room looks like. You should bring in a professional real estate photographer for the job.
Many real estate agents add professional photography to the marketing budget. The photos you get represent what buyers see, so make sure you put your best foot forward. Plus, any edge you give your home over other listings might be the ticket to getting it sold.
7. Withholding Information About the Home
The buyer’s inspection will uncover any problems you try to hide about the home. You have three options for dealing with problems:
- Fix the issue ahead of time
- Price your home below market value to account for the issue
- List the property at a normal price and offer a credit to the buyer to fix the issue
However, fixing problems in advance will help eliminate turning away a good number of buyers looking for a turnkey property. Always have someone inspect the home before listing to avoid costly surprises while under contract.
Plus, many states have seller disclosure rules. Some states, including California, require disclosing any known problems about the home when buyers ask directly, while others decree sellers must disclose some issues voluntarily.
Hiding issues mean you’re cheating the buyer by not being up-front about the home’s history. The buyer can get some of the money they pay you back later in a lawsuit when they find out you didn’t disclose a significant problem.
Summary of Mistakes to Avoid When Selling Your Home in Orlando
So there you have it, a roundup of seven mistakes to avoid when selling your home. The sale of a property can be an expensive and time-consuming process. In addition, it can result in legal issues that cost you more money.
For this reason, it pays to prepare by becoming familiar with these seven traps and tips for selling your home. Then, you will go a long way toward putting your best foot forward and achieving a lucrative, seamless sale that every home seller wants.
Reach out to a professional real estate agent and let them assist you today!